Why Is the Kansas City Chiefs’ Mascot a Wolf?

Mascots don’t usually get much airtime during broadcasts. But they sometimes get cameo appearances if they do something notable or funny. That was the case with the Chiefs’ mascot, K.C. Wolf, during the team’s divisional-round against the Texans. 

K.C. wasn’t happy about Houston jumping to a 24-0 lead over the Chiefs in the first quarter of the game. The CBS broadcast caught him on camera, letting out his frustrations in a way that went viral. K.C. Wolf is a popular mascot in the Kansas City area. But why do the Chiefs — with a name related to Native Americans — have a wolf for a mascot?

Who is K.C. Wolf?

K.C. Wolf has been the Chiefs’ mascot since 1989, when he succeeded Warpaint, a horse ridden by a man wearing an Indian headdress. In addition to rooting on the Chiefs, K.C. Wolf makes appearances around the Kansas City area, whether attending community activities, parades, or serving as a motivational speaker.

He was the first NFL mascot to enter the Mascot Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class of 2006. K.C. Wolf was named after the Wolfpack, a group of boisterous Chiefs fans who sat in temporary bleachers at the old Municipal Stadium in the franchise’s early days.

The team chose K.C. to replace Warpaint because officials wanted a character more geared toward kids, despite being named for loud, obnoxious — and probably drunk — fans.

Why did K.C. Wolf go viral?

K.C. wasn’t happy when his beloved Chiefs dug themselves into a hole early in the playoff game against the Texans. The poor start — including costly third-down drops and poor special teams play — was too much for K.C. to handle. The CBS broadcast went to a camera in the stadium tunnel that showed the depressed wolf in disbelief at how his team was playing.

The cameras caught K.C. Wolf slamming his head against a wall — and he probably wasn’t alone. Kansas City fans were likely considering the same thing when the Texans jumped out to a big lead. The NFL on CBS Twitter account tweeted the video of K.C. pounding his head against a wall. Naturally, the clip went viral.

He was in a tunnel rather than out on the sideline or in the crowd. So K.C. may not have wanted the whole world to see his reaction to the play in the first quarter.

Things get better for K.C. Wolf

Thankfully for K.C., things improved as the game went on. Not only had the Chiefs overcome the 24-point deficit by halftime, but they’d taken the lead, 28-24, by the time the teams returned to the locker rooms at the break. The Chiefs ended up winning the game by a 20-point margin, scoring 51 points — all in the final three quarters.

As the Chiefs’ performance and chance of winning the game improved so did K.C.’s attitude. As the game went on, fans saw him out and about in the stadium being his usual, jovial self. By the third quarter, K.C. Wolf was back on the sidelines in a Hawaiian shirt, high-fiving the fans in the stands and eating their popcorn.

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